Columns > Music

Thursday, August 5 2010

Feeding Grapes to Cannibals: Tropicália and the Evolution of Pop

The tropicalists devoured string quartets, Penny Lane horn solos, war marches, Ezra Pound, Stockhausen and Finnegans Wake -- and then regurgitated an anti-nationalist manifesto.


Wednesday, August 4 2010

Soundscape Mix #6: Cats

Our new mix features tunes from Jaga Jazzist, Broadcast, Dosh and many more as a free download. So, here's to life, and all the creatures great and small that enrich our days in uncountable ways.


Monday, August 2 2010

Jukebox Heroes: A Long Delayed Return to Classic Rock—Which Can Be Pretty Damn Good

Maybe classic rock's most bothersome aspect is that it traffics in arguably one of the most fertile creative periods in rock history, but leaves the impression that most bands never wrote more than three or four songs.


Sunday, August 1 2010

Sing, Memory

It’s comforting to think that no matter how addled my mind gets, I’ll always be able to temporarily return to a clearer past with the help of a song or two, playing in my brain.


Tuesday, July 27 2010

Wales: So “Cool Cymru” Part I

While England was exporting the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and the Who '60s, Wales offered up Shirley Bassey, Mary Hopkin, and Tom Jones. Things changed, thankfully, and Super Furry Animals became the heart and soul of the Wales “Cool Cymru” movement.


Wednesday, July 21 2010

Hip-Hop Storytellers: The Vignette

"That story is over, but my rhyme ain't done." Vignettes are important tools in hip-hop's rich and plentiful storytelling tradition.


Monday, July 19 2010

The World According to Country Radio: It’s Pretty Basic, Baby

Country is a genre with its own sense of time. New songs on country radio aren't necessarily new. The songs aren't interested in capturing a point in time, instead, they're all about depicting the essentials of life.


Thursday, July 15 2010

It Was Only Yesterday L.A. Went Up in Flames

Langston Hughes’ proverbial California raisin in the sun exploded to a funky beat. I stared blankly past the familiar storefronts, into a world I could barely grasp. How civil a society was it that my daughter was about to join?


Monday, July 12 2010

Temporal Warp and Your Brain: Side Effects of Classics Hits Radio

Classic hits radio is a manifestation of the ancient oral cultural practices which never go away but rather interpenetrate modern literate culture in all kinds of ways: children's superstitions and playground rhymes; urban legends; chain letters and emails.


Sunday, July 11 2010

How Does One Beat the Heat? Try Descending Into Icy Madness

To cope with the heat wave, advisories suggest visiting 'cooling centers' or public pools. To achieve a truly chilled-out state of mind, however, why not open the door to your mind and let the iceman cometh inside?


Tuesday, June 29 2010

Amon Tobin Part 2: A Cool Acousmatic Cat

Tobin's goal as a composer was to create music that truly reflected the time in which it was made, and to see how far he could remove his samples from their sources before arranging them in new contexts. He achieved such an artifact with each album.


Monday, June 28 2010

Jazz Ain’t Dead, But Charlie Parker Is—So Let’s Move On, Shall We?

If Charlie Parker rose from the dead I have no doubt that he'd cheer on the hip hop orchestras and Bugge Wesseltoft's piano thumping electronica. He would definitely be a fan of Esperanza Spalding.


Tuesday, June 15 2010

We Don’t Die, We Multiply: R&B Posse Tracks

Take Whitney Houston's "Saving All My Love For You", a steamy tale of a mistress longing for romantic bliss with a married man, and imagine how it might play out with a multi-perspective delivery.


Sunday, June 13 2010

The Importance of Being Ernest: Easton Corbin and the Country Boy Hemingway Code

Easton Corbin's debut reads like a 'Farewell to Arms' for the truck-pull set and lays out a hero's code for existentialist country boys everywhere; that is, the practical application of action over thought.


Thursday, June 3 2010

Amon Tobin Part 1: A Cool Trip-Hop, Drum & Bass Cat

Amon Tobin has sought -- and succeeded -- to unite the two dichotomous sides of electronic music: to satisfy both the dancing feet and the theoretical minds of audiences worldwide.


Tuesday, June 1 2010

Nikki Yanofsky: Forever Young

The 16-year-old Canadian singer Nikki Yanofsky is taking the jazz world by storm. She wants to be more than just a phenom or a jazz singer. Has she got what it takes?


Thursday, May 27 2010

Race in America, Race in Music: Different Trains,  Same Two Tracks

It's an American pop music creation myth: that blues and folk music developed along two distinct tracks, with their own distinct traditions, divided along racial lines. The truth is, of course, far more slippery and complicated.


Tuesday, May 25 2010

Pete Seeger’s ‘Rainbow Quest’: The Anti-TV, TV

Somewhat awkward, clunky and charming on his TV show, Pete Seeger seemed to trust the viewers in the same way he recognised that TV's priorities don't represent the priorities of the people he meets in his travels.


Monday, May 24 2010

Forever Meddling: An Interview with Blake Judd of Nachtmystium

The leader of Nachtmystium and Twilight finds himself at a creative peak with the release of two major new albums that give the finger to genre purists.


Sunday, May 23 2010

Souvenirs: The Enduring Appeal of John Prine

The time feels right for not just another live album, but for a long overdue John Prine tribute record. This summer, we get both.


//Mixed media
//Blogs

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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